Shannon

Page 3

I am wife to Stewart, mama of five, homeschooler, messy cook, and avid fermenter. This is where I tell our story... of building a sustainable off-grid homestead in a Christian agrarian community... of raising this growing family of ours... of the beauty and the hard and the joy in all of it.
922 articles written by Shannon

moving-dirt-6 moving-dirt-1 moving-dirt-4 moving-dirt-5moving-dirt-7

I have often found it hard to wrap my head around the needs of a specific season unless we are in it. In the winter we think of firewood and water-proofing and row covers in the garden. In the summer we think if staying cool, of course, but there is one resource at the forefront of our days: water.

I think about it when I fill the sink a little lower every day for dishes. I think about it when we fill water filters and animal troughs. I think about it when doing laundry at home no longer seems a wise option. I think of it as we water the garden less and less the further we get from a rain. And we think of it more and more as we continue to add animals who also need more water. So it was a good time of year to rent a backhoe and really focus on the needs of the land, animals, and people in regard to water.

After doing this a few times now, I’ve found that it is a very intense time of work trying to make the most of this resource we’ve been given… but it’s also very exciting. We store up ideas and projects over the years, in the event that the Lord makes a way for a tool such as this, and then we dig.

This time some of the projects Stewart was able to do include: dig outhouse holes, expand our existing pond, swale a portion of the pasture, dig out a root cellar hole, dig out a much larger pond for the animals on the pasture, and mix all of those remaining hay bales into the chicken field garden.

We are very grateful the Lord provided a means to move forward on these projects and we look forward to seeing what He has next for us.

onion-bud-capers1

Growing onions is a bit of a commitment, I am realizing. At least when it comes to garden space. Last October is when I believe we planted these guys and now, nine months later, we are finishing the harvest. They are super low-maintenance and have been coming into our kitchen to feed us in various stages since around December. But in planning the fall/winter/spring gardens, I am trying to remember that these guys take up space for some time.

We harvested green onions throughout the winter and have been eating the bulb onions for a few months now, nearly daily making the base of a stir-fry with whatever greens, beans, or squash we’re harvesting. I don’t know for sure but I suspect it is because of the cutting of the green onions that many of them went to seed. That combined with the hot weather gave us the push to go ahead and harvest the remaining onions in the next two weeks.

onionbudcapers2

The seed flowers are lovely. They smell of chives and those that we brought in had these buds at all different stages. Annabelle asked to help harvest the seed so she patiently sat on the steps sorting tiny black seeds from the buds and the still gentle flowers. We saved the little black onion seeds and then she ended up with a scant cup of the buds.

They reminded me of capers and, inspired by Shaye’s Dandelion Capers, I set out to ferment them in a simple brine.

onion-bud-capers-3

After a few days they were bubbling and the brine was cloudy. They are a little difficult to keep below the level of the brine, even with my heavy duty fermentation weight, but I suspect fermenting a larger quantity would solve that problem.

Lacto-Fermented Onion Bud Capers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion buds
  • enough water to substantially cover buds (~1 cup)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

Directions

Remove buds from onion flowers and place in a pint jar. Add salt and cover buds with water by at least 1/2″. Add a fermentation weight to submerge the onion buds below the level of the brine.

Seal the jar and allow to ferment at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or until they are tangy enough for your liking. Be sure to “burp” your jar daily during the first week to release the carbon dioxide produced as a by-product of fermentation.

Enjoy!